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#ISSS2016 USA [clear filter]
Thursday, July 28
 

3:30pm

Creating Enduring Social Impact: A Model for Multi-Sector Transformational Change
2753 The nonprofit and public sectors are in the midst of a paradigm shift from addressing community concerns individually and competing with each other for existing funding to working collaboratively and thinking collectively across sectors to solve some of our most intractable social problems. This transition requires new approaches that challenge assumptions and generate new knowledge. Existing models for change, while theoretically sound, are difficult to adapt to multi-sector transformational change. Undertaking multi-sector transformational change is substantially different than the vast majority of change efforts that take place within a single organization, differing in scope, complexity, and leadership. This paper describes a new model specifically designed to address the unique needs of multi-sector change efforts. It is built on the theoretical framework of complexity science and complex adaptive systems, organization development, transformative and organizational learning, and multi-sector transformational change. Multi-sector transformational change efforts take place within highly complex systems, where stakeholders (components of the system) come together to do work that none of them can accomplish alone. This work requires participants to develop their adaptive capacity in response to a constantly changing environment where outcomes are uncertain and thus, cannot be planned for. Participants must also be capable of surfacing and challenging their own assumptions through transformative and organizational learning in order to create space for generative dialogue. These frameworks are essential to the success of multi-sector transformational change. The model consists of five phases: (1) discovery and dialogue; (2) deepening, refining, and assessing; (3) infrastructure, communication, and coordination; (4) ongoing implementation and progress reporting; and (5) learning, celebration, and sustainability. Phase 1 focuses on understanding current reality, identifying key stakeholders, building relationships, and creating a shared vision. Phase 2 continues to deepen and refine the work of Phase 1 while at the same time establishing a practice of reflection. Phase 3 initiates implementation and establishes feedback mechanisms. Phase 4 delves deep into implementation, launches feedback mechanisms, and looks ahead to sustainability. Phase 5 provides more formal evaluation of the project outcomes and processes and requires participants to decide whether the effort is completed or if it continues. These five phases represent a cycle that is designed to be iterative, building on new knowledge gained from the previous cycle. Aside from providing a new approach to multi-sector transformational change, the significance of this model is its adaptability and flexibility, with the caveat that certain critical processes not be omitted. Broad stakeholder representation is essential to mobilize and engage those who care about or are affected by the particular issue. Building strong relationships with those stakeholders, as well as sponsors, funders, and partner organizations, establishes robust connections that will serve to propel the project forward and reinforce the project during challenging periods. Identifying influential champions, those who reduce barriers, open doors, and make connections, provides the project with loyal advocates. Fully funding a facilitation, communication, and support organization enables organizational and community leaders to focus on the creation of new knowledge and provides a level of oversight that will maintain the momentum throughout the project. Developing the transformative learning capacity of all participants and weaving that together to create a learning organization will ensure that the wisdom of all participants is brought forth to understand the nuances of the issue and explore possibilities. These five processes provide the backbone for any multi-sector transformational change effort. Keywords: Multi-sector, Transformational Change, Transformative Learning, Organizational Learning, Complexity, Complex Adaptive Systems, Organization Development, Dialogue, Stakeholders

Chairs
avatar for Louis Klein

Louis Klein

SIG Chair: Organizational Transformation and Social Change, louis.klein@segroup.de
Vice President Conferences (2015), International Society for the Systems Sciences SIG Chair:    Systems Applications in Business and Industry SIG Chair:    Organizational Transformation and Social ChangeLouis Klein is an internationally recognized expert in the field of systemic... Read More →

Thursday July 28, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm
ECCR 200